Goodbye from me, but what will the urban model look like following COVID-19?

Although this blog is at a close, I want to briefly touch on the global pandemic that is currently unfolding, affecting Barcelona along with thousands of other cities, and the implications this may have for UPE thinking and city resilience.  The COVID-19 outbreak, and the speed at which it is spreading, demonstrates the threat that our current urban model of high-density, globally connected living poses to ourContinue reading “Goodbye from me, but what will the urban model look like following COVID-19?”

Barcelona’s social challenges: A consequence of the city’s urban development?

As part of the 100 Resilient Cities programme, in recent years Barcelona has recognised the shocks and stresses it faces and has committed to taking proactive steps to increase the city’s capacity to deal with these challenges.   Barcelona is a vibrant port city with thriving tourism and cultural industries; however, it also suffers from social challenges such as social polarisation andContinue reading “Barcelona’s social challenges: A consequence of the city’s urban development?”

Barcelona and the ‘smart city’

As the world becomes more urbanised, cities are becoming smarter to deal with the complexities of urban life such as overpopulation, energy consumption, resource management and environmental protection. Gaining traction over the past decade, the ‘smart city’ concept has now become popular among policy makers, urban planners and academics alike.   A key part of being a smart city is incorporating new digital technologies toContinue reading “Barcelona and the ‘smart city’”

Barcelona’s tourism: A threat to the city’s population, environment and culture

The urban regeneration programme that came with the 1992 Olympic Games transformed Barcelona from a tired industrial port city to a cosmopolitan tourist destination, offering culture, architecture and beaches. Since 1990, tourism numbers in the city have increased from 2 million to over 30 million in 2017, making it the fourth most-visited European city. Some of the tourist appealContinue reading “Barcelona’s tourism: A threat to the city’s population, environment and culture”

The repurposing of Barcelona’s vacant lots as urban gardens

Urban gardening was an important aspect of life in Barcelona until the late 20th century. Infrastructural developments and the urban renewal that spread across the city around the 1992 Olympic Games removed almost all its urban gardens – between 1993 and 2000 almost 8,000ha of agricultural land in the Barcelona Metropolitan Region was lost to make way for new transport links and urban developments. As a result, theContinue reading “The repurposing of Barcelona’s vacant lots as urban gardens”

Reclaiming urban space: The influence of the Superblock

I mentioned Barcelona’s superblocks in passing in my post on the city’s air pollution, but due to the significance of the policy in reconfiguring the urban structure of the city, this post will look into the planning, implementation and future of superblocks in more detail. Car-dependant city planning has resulted in high levels of pollution, sedentaryContinue reading “Reclaiming urban space: The influence of the Superblock”

The conflicts and competition in the history of Barcelona’s water supply

Barcelona’s temperatures are increasing and the hottest periods are becoming more frequent, whilst rainfall in the city is become increasingly less regular. In 2008, Barcelona almost ran out of water and had to resort to importing water in vast quantities. In order to avoid another water emergency, the city needs to adapt. Much of the city’s water system is dated andContinue reading “The conflicts and competition in the history of Barcelona’s water supply”

Air pollution: How it impacts, and is impacted by, city life

Flowing on from last week’s post on the production of nature and the ecosystem services Parc de Collserola provides, this week looks at the issue of air pollution in the city of Barcelona.   Due to Barcelona’s urban density, lack of green space, warm climate and private vehicle use, it is one of the most polluted cities in Spain. The two main pollutantsContinue reading “Air pollution: How it impacts, and is impacted by, city life”

An introduction to Barcelona and the production of nature in Parc de Collserola

Barcelona is known for its architecture and culture and is one of the most liveable cities in Spain, popular with locals and tourists alike, due to the city’s beaches, green spaces and urban lifestyle. Its metropolitan region spans 636km2 and is home to a population of over 5.4 million people. The liveability of modern citiesContinue reading “An introduction to Barcelona and the production of nature in Parc de Collserola”

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